Lessons from the Day of Atonement

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Most of the Body of Christ has gone about their daily business without a clue of the biblical significance of the past few weeks. The centuries of manmade traditions have disenfranchised us from our rich Hebraic heritage and the biblical feasts that belong to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. These biblical feasts serve many purposes:

  • They remind us of what God has done for us.
  • They teach us more about what Jesus has done and will do in the future.
  • They are cycles of God’s process of sanctification in the life of the believer.
  • They are cycles of God’s process of positioning believers for greater blessing.
  • They are God’s way of bringing us back into step with the Kingdom of God. (This one is especially needed in this day since everyone is in step with the current Babylonian system of the world!)

This Wednesday, we will begin filming a new series on “The Feasts of the LORD and Their Spiritual Significance in the Life of the Believer.” This new DVD series is designed to reintroduce believers in Messiah to His Feasts. As we prepare for His coming, we need to get back into the rhythm of His Kingdom; the Feasts play a vital role in our realignment.

Since we are in the middle of the Fall Feasts, I thought it would be a great opportunity to teach on several aspects of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kipper) and how it can apply to becoming more effective in your spiritual walk and ministry. This month’s Mentor Tip is about divine accountability and realignment.

There are many aspects to the Fall Feasts (the Day of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles) that we could cover. The Fall Feasts are all about the second coming of Messiah and become a template to lie over the top of the Book of Revelation to see fully what God is showing us. Without the Fall Feasts’ template, the Book of Revelation is constantly being misinterpreted by believers. We will not be examining the Fall Feasts from an Eschatological view point, but one for daily living.

The Feast of Trumpets signifies a time of announcements from Heaven. It is a time designated by Almighty God when He speaks with greater clarity for the sake of His people. It also begins the countdown to the Day of Atonement called “The Ten Days of Awe.” During the Ten Days of Awe, God’s people spend a great amount of time examining their lives and hearts. They make sure that all relational accounts are settled between them and God as well as between them and their fellow man. There is also intense examination of what they have done with their lives since the last Day of Atonement.

The Fall Feasts teach us the importance of ownership. In fact, the Torah has a great deal to say about ownership of land and property. The concept of ownership is important because it reminds us that this world, our bodies and all other things are owned by a divine Creator, the God of Heaven and Earth. Since He owns this planet and all the people that dwell upon it, we must live our lives with the understanding that one day we will stand before Him to give an account of how we lived our lives and what we accomplished.

This year I have personally done that very thing. I have examined my past year, to include my accomplishments and my failings. During the Ten Days of Awe, I have been repenting, making plans, and making many adjustments. I did not accomplish as much as I wanted to this past year. There were places where I stumbled, dropped the ball or allowed other things to crowd out what was really important.

The Fall Feasts and the Day of Atonement were a type of “wake up” call to me. I have examined every weight that so easily besets me (Heb 12:1), examined what is most needful in my walk and ministry, and have determined to completely devote myself to those things alone.

Devote and devotion are very powerful words. Devote means “to commit to a particular purpose.” Devotion means to have “fervent dedication and loyalty” to something. This not only involves placing a great amount of time and energy into its accomplishment, but to remain loyal to it when distractions present themselves.

Here is what I am going to be devoted to this next year:

  • Writing new courses, articles and books.
  • Researching to ensure accuracy and integrity in all that I teach.
  • Re-teaching every major course I have taught in the past for DVD.

To accomplish this, many things in my life that took the focus away from my pursuits of God are being set aside. The things of the flesh (to include most entertainment) are there to distract us from our purpose, to steal our time, and to steal our focus. I am sure Satan will also bring many opportunities that sound wonderful but are simply distractions. Everything must be weighed concerning what I must give an account to God for and what He has called me to devote myself to. I must then purpose in my heart to remain loyal to those things.

Bringing It Home for You

This time next year the Day of Atonement will roll around again. Will you be prepared to present your life before the judgment bar of God to give an answer for what you have done with those twelve months? Can you give an account for what God has called you to be devoted to so you can work in His fields of service?

It is time for you to take inventory. What has God instructed you to do? Categorize them to include: personal relationships, education, ministry direction, etc. Once you have the categories, examine this past year to see what distracted you or held you back. Make plans to remove those weights!

Now make a list of the things you must devote yourself to. Be specific, and write it with great clarity. This list becomes your litmus test for everything that comes into your life and even how you plan your day. Is it part of your devotion to the accomplishment of something that God has called you to, or is it a distraction to test your loyalty? You are the gatekeeper to your life. The Fall Feasts teach us that it is time to wake up and redeem the time. In fact, the Day of Trumpets is also called “The Awakening Blast.” Consider this your wake up call to enter into Kingdom living with devotion and purpose!

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Copyright 2008 by Michael K. Lake, Th.D.

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Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Chancellor and Founder

Dr. Lake is the chancellor and founder of Biblical Life College & Seminary and serves as an educational consultant for various Christian organizations around the world. He also serves as the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly in Marshfield, MO. Dr. Lake is listed in the US Registry’s “Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans,” Sterling’s “Who’s Who Executive Edition,” and the “Who’s Who Among American Teachers” for his accomplishments in ministry.

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